A Trump Brexit Threatens

Rapacious U.S. interests lurk behind Boris Johnson’s no-deal Brexit bluster, which would  imperil Britain’s welfare state & move the UK even closer to U.S. Empire, says John Wight.

By John Wight
in Edinburgh, Scotland
Special to Consortium

Trump’s otherworldly vice president, Mike Pence, has just said more in one short sentence to unravel the complexities of the Brexit crisis that continues to bedevil the UK, than the ocean of column inches that have been devoted to the subject since the referendum was held in 2016.

Speaking at a black tie event in London on Thursday night, attended by an array of business executives, Pence proclaimed, “The minute the UK is out, America is in.”

Pence, a man who stands as living proof that human evolution is not wedded to an ever upwards path, delivered these words with the bombast of a Roman proconsul addressing the notables of a soon-to-be client state.

Thus let there be no doubt that the hard no-deal Brexit advocated by the UK’s newly installed Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his supporters is to all intents a Trump Brexit – one that will see the UK economy opened up to the tender mercies of U.S. corporations on terms set not by London but Washington.

Pence meeting Johnson in Washington in May 2018. (Prime Minister’s office)

In other words, we’re talking disaster capitalism on steroids, bringing with it the likely prospect of the decimation of what’s left of the UK’s welfare state, including that most revered totem to social solidarity, the National Health Service (NHS), which since the end of WWII, when it was established, has provided generations of British citizens with free healthcare at the point of need, funded out of general taxation, regardless of social class or personal wealth.

God, the Market

The NHS is therefore a socialist institution in all but name, which Johnson and his privileged right wing establishment acolytes in the hard Brexit camp would sooner see broken up and sold off to U.S. insurance companies in sacrifice to their god, the market. This is regardless of any and all assurances given to the contrary.

In her classic work, Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein writes:

“Believers in the shock doctrine [of disaster capitalism] are convinced that only a great rupture – a flood, a war, a terrorist attack – can generate the kind of vast, clean canvases they crave,” while earlier in the same passage, warning that “This desire for godlike powers of total creation is precisely why free market ideologues are so drawn to crises and disasters.”

A no deal Brexit, which means to say a complete break from the EU with no trade relationship in place, offers the perfect storm of economic shock, and, with it, vulnerability that would turn the UK, currently the fifth largest economy in the world, into a prized dripping roast offered up to U.S. corporations to feast upon. [Parliament on Friday passed a bill blocking a no-deal exit and it goes to Buckingham Palace on Monday for royal assent but it remains to be seen if Johnson will abide by it.]

As things stand, the EU is the UK’s largest single trading partner, the destination of 46 percent of British exports and from where 54 percent of British imports emanate. Three million jobs across the UK are directly dependant on this trade, not to mention supply chains and much of the country’s inward investment.

Northern Ireland Peace at Stake

Northern Ireland/Irish Republic border crossing. (Flickr)

This is without factoring in the precarious peace in Northern Ireland, which has been extant since 1998 upon the passage of the Belfast Agreement (also known as the Good Friday Agreement) between the UK and Irish governments, along with the leaderships of the main republican and loyalist paramilitary groups that were engaged in the 30-year long conflict, known as the Troubles.

The spectre of the re-imposition of a hard border – removed as a condition of the Belfast Agreement, between the six counties that make up Northern Ireland and the 26-county Irish Republic – due to the new custom arrangements that would ensue, brings with it the very real prospect of a resumption of violence in the province.

Border Communities Against Brexit. (Flickr)

On this, be in no doubt that the reactionary wing of the British Tory establishment represented by Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg et al., has never fully reconciled itself to the Good Friday Agreement. To them, and much of the British security apparatus, it is tantamount to a surrender document, rooted in the appeasement of terrorism. As such the prospect of British troops reappearing on the streets of Belfast, Derry and other towns in Northern Ireland, is not one that they could not live with.

Even Closer to the Empire

The possibility of a hard no-deal Brexit does not only carry dire domestic consequences for the UK vis-à-vis Washington. It also guarantees that London will be dialed into U.S. geo-strategic objectives in such a way as to make the country’s subordination to the empire complete.

We have already been treated to an example of what this would be like when, at the behest of the Trump administration, British Royal Marines seized the Iranian oil tanker, Grace 1, in the Straits of Gibraltar and forced it to dock in the British-controlled territory.

It was an act of pure piracy undertaken in clear violation of international law, which only confirmed that in Washington the neocons have retaken control of the asylum.

Ultimately, a grim future beckons for the UK in the event of a hard no deal Brexit. It is why the crisis has reached its most critical point; the outcome of which will have ramifications and far reaching consequences for many years to come.

One of those consequences may well be Scottish independence, given that in the aforementioned 2016 EU referendum 62 percent of people in Scotland voted to remain in the EU; and given that since then support for Scottish independence has grown.

Indeed it is no exaggeration to assert that the day after a no-deal Brexit comes to pass, the train of Scottish independence will come hurtling down the track.

John Wight is an independent journalist based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

44 comments for “A Trump Brexit Threatens

  1. Karl
    September 11, 2019 at 18:04

    John Wight and many other liberals (social liberals) see facists at every corner these days. When will they start talking about a “social NATO”? That’s where we are heading with today’s left. I can understand a 16 year old London youth can believe in the EU’s fairy tales, but Wight is a grown up, well read man who should know better. The left can choose: Do we/they (I don’t even know if I want to call myself left anymore) want to be part of a sinking ship, or join the rebellion for more democracy? Has the left got so little confidence now that fighting Boris Johnson no matter what is enough? Or fear mongering about “the economy” for the bankers? Do people like Wight think the working class are so stupid, and don’t know what’s best for themselves? It seems like that.

  2. Charles Seifried
    September 9, 2019 at 12:05

    Totally correct. Darth Trump, with his neocons, is drooling at the thought of Brexit!

  3. boxerwar
    September 9, 2019 at 10:52

    “Even Closer to the Empire

    The possibility of a hard no-deal Brexit does not only carry dire domestic consequences for the UK vis-à-vis Washington. It also guarantees that London will be dialed into U.S. geo-strategic objectives in such a way as to make the country’s subordination to the empire complete.

    We have already been treated to an example of what this would be like when, at the behest of the Trump administration, British Royal Marines seized the Iranian oil tanker, Grace 1, in the Straits of Gibraltar and forced it to dock in the British-controlled territory.

    It was an act of pure piracy undertaken in clear violation of international law, which only confirmed that in Washington the neocons have retaken control of the asylum.” — – – John Wight

    :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

    General Mattis on the TRUMP threat to Democracy
    https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/08/28/mattis-breaks-silence-departure-pentagon-warns-threats-democracy.html

  4. JWalters
    September 9, 2019 at 02:03

    English banks got in on the ground floor of owning American industry in the 1800’s. They took over America’s money supply with their secretive creation of the “Federal Reserve” Bank in 1913. They were already the owners of the British Empire, and they became the owners of the fledgling American Empire. At about the same time, they laid the groundwork for their future Israeli Empire (with the “Balfour Declaration” in a letter to Baron Lionel Rothschild). These are three tentacles of a single Financial Empire. It is run by ruthless predators, as history has proven.

    John Hobson’s classic analysis of imperialism shows that big investors drive imperial policies, for their own benefit and at huge cost to the rest of society (including the immense cost of wars). “Imperialism. A Study”
    https://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/hobson-imperialism-a-study
    See especially Part I of Chapter IV: “Economic Parasites of Imperialism”

    We need to follow the money and eradicate the corruption of our politics and news at its root.

    • JWalters
      September 9, 2019 at 02:17

      The above post was rejected immediately twice, instantly vanishing without any “awaiting moderation” message. This indicates it was rejected by machine. The third time it was posted with the usual “awaiting moderation” message. The third time it omitted a specific link. Therefore, this link is on a “banned link” list somewhere. This link has already been accepted at CN a few times before (including during Robert Parry’s tenure). So this “banned link” is not on a CN list. Therefore, it is on an intruder’s list. This fits the pattern of truth-telling sites being hacked in various ways, always to delete or muddy the truth.

      In another example, Veterans Today has an article about their being hacked.

      “Veterans Today has been repeatedly hacked. As part of these hacks, the text has been altered, photographs removed from the archives and entire databases altered or erased. We have even had servers destroyed. All this is about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, someone we support.”
      “Attack on Rep. Gabbard in April 2018 VT Article Inserted by Hacker”
      https://www.veteranstoday.com/2019/08/29/attack-on-rep-gabbard-in-april-2018-vt-article-inserted-by-hacker/

      The banned link (remove asterisks), and it’s paragraph were:

      Today’s financial control center is sketched in some detail in two articles, on the war on terror and on banking, at war*profiteer*story.*blog*spot.*com

  5. Jeff Harrison
    September 8, 2019 at 13:47

    England will rue the day that they become a consigliere to the United States.

  6. bevin
    September 8, 2019 at 10:59

    I cannot imagine why my comment, made about 48 hrs ago, was not published. This site is really weird when it comes to moderation.

    • Spammy
      September 9, 2019 at 11:04

      It’s their stupid spam filter, bevin. Unlikely this comment will get through. >:(

  7. hetro
    September 8, 2019 at 10:24

    From weekly review at Moon of Alabama–

    Rob Slane at The Blogmire explains the current Brexit situation:

    There are a number of parties. One of them wants to take us out, but there are some within that party that didn’t want to take us out, so they were kicked out by the man who just came in. In order to get us out, the man who just came in tried to get himself out, so that he could then get back in, in order to take us out. But he was thwarted by the other parties, who despite wanting him out, kept him in because they fear that if he gets out, he will then get back in and will then take us out. But if they can keep him in long enough, and prevent him from taking us out, they figure that soon after he has failed to take us out, they will be able to get him out and get themselves in. And then after he gets out and they get in, they may try to take us out or they may try to keep us in. It’s anyone’s guess. Then again, it’s entirely possible that if they do get in, they might try to get us out, then campaign against their deal for taking us out to try and keep us in. It really is that simple.

    https://www.moonofalabama.org/

    • TomG
      September 9, 2019 at 12:23

      Rob has nailed it! Too funny!

    • Joe Lauria
      September 10, 2019 at 17:33

      Brilliant. It makes one laugh because it is entirely accurate.

  8. Robert Emmett
    September 8, 2019 at 09:46

    subhead: Rapacious U.S. interests lurk behind Boris Johnson’s no-deal Brexit bluster…

    If they lurk virtually everywhere, then can they still be said to be lurking?

    Even if
    we were to take
    your suggestion seriously
    for a moment,
    were to question
    What ought specie(s) face,
    with a single face,
    that is?

    Yes? A suggestion,
    from back of
    front & center?

    Reproach!
    For those
    put themselves
    above it!

    Ahhh, ah ha ha ha ha!
    But after all
    are invited
    into our blood-bath
    whose hand
    remains unblooded?

    So you see,
    so foolproof,
    even fools are suffered
    (lightly) to speak for all
    (It doth amuse us!)
    while the piety of your opinion
    clatters off hollow walls
    from behind which
    we play at
    judge
    jury executioner
    of all
    (to our hearts’ content).

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/02/07/does-washington-rule-world/

  9. Sarge
    September 8, 2019 at 04:38

    Good piece.
    So “taking back control” will actually mean a wholesale handover of Britain’s public sector to the tender mercies of US corporate predators and parasites. British patriots and nationalists will have much to celebrate.

  10. Donald Duck
    September 7, 2019 at 17:41

    The writer of the above article is a Scot. Scotland voted for independence from the UK, and, in additon, like Ireland they are gung-ho for remaining in the EU. Scotland and Ireland are small countries. Mr Wight would perhaps like to enlighten us how small countries like the above – and in addition, we might add Greece, Latvia, Portugal and Bulgaria – are faring in the EU. Try countryeconomy.com

    • Sarge
      September 8, 2019 at 04:42

      Polling shows 90% of Irish are happy their country is in the EU. Even the 10% who are not do not crave a return to the tender mercies of British colonial rule.

    • Antonio Costa
      September 9, 2019 at 11:03

      My sense is that the Irish and the Scots want out from under the yoke of Britain. EU may serve as a means to off-set that yoke. I would think that Scotland wants secession and if so why would they want to lose it by being part of a neoliberal entity like the EU? Just swapping problems.

      I think at bottom a trade agreement suffices. The EU is not the answer. Scotland’s “oil” is another factor not be dismissed in all of this.

  11. John Wright
    September 7, 2019 at 17:23

    It is the City of London and Wall Street, not London and Washington, which will determine how the spoils are distributed.

    That is if the looming crash of the U.S. dollar doesn’t preempt this situation. It could be that the City of London wants to be totally free to work with the new bosses…

    In any case, I hope Scotland does finally regain its independence.

    • Jonny
      September 7, 2019 at 20:47

      if the EU had any backbone they’d tell Boris if pushed we will 1) unify the Irish island, both parts of which voted Remain 2) return Gibraltar to Spain so the wannabe Neo-Cons in the rump UK cant weaponize the Med on behalf of the ‘Murricans. see if that wouldnt help clarify the situation

    • bevin
      September 8, 2019 at 17:25

      Scotland is not trying to regain its independence. It may be that there is a narrow majority for the SNP side in a referendum . But the SNP is not looking for independence it simply wants to get rid of the middleman, the UK, in its dependence on the EU and the United States. The first dictating economic policy-within the narrow limits allowed by the US- the latter dictating foreign and ‘security’ policies.
      Independence, since 1946, has implied the right of a nation to choose whether or not to do as it is told by the United states. The SNP would be very happy-like Ireland -to be dominated by the United States just so long as no English compete for managerial positions in the franchise.
      The Scottish ruling class has always been very happy to cooperate in ruling and plundering the empire. It looks forward to doing the same in future.

  12. Drew Hunkins
    September 7, 2019 at 16:05

    Just so there’s no confusion — the E.U. is a major part of the empire!

    The E.U. is part and parcel of the parasitic financial elite and their global capitalism which is intent on austerity across the entire industrialized world. The IMF, Wall Street, City of London, World Bank, E.U. and the Fed will do absolutely nothing for everyday working people struggling with exorbitant housing costs; low wages; shoddy infrastructure; non-existent workers’ rights; debt peonage via credit cards, student loans and child care.

    The E.U. is a villain regardless of how many all-knowing cool headed liberals tell you otherwise! These same intellectuals NEVER lifted a finger to call out the rapacious exploitation we’ve suffering under since the 1970s. They never uttered a word when our manufacturing jobs were shipped abroad, when our unions were destroyed, when our public schools were underfunded!

  13. LJ
    September 7, 2019 at 15:31

    “Rapacious US Interests”are everywhere, not just lurking in and about everything. Trump didn’t create Brexit, He probably didn’t even know it was an issue back when it was passed by the British electorate, Nor did he mold Boris Johnson out of the mud down behind some dark wall at Eton College. The British were never sold on the EU from the get go and now they are overrun by open borders and EU macroeconomics that are subservient to US interest ipso facto because the Euro is pegged to the US $ and all the players are in NATO, therefore the EU and Britain are all in behind US policy and Trade regardless of the outcome of Brexit . It’s up to the voters if Corbyn takes the helm after Brexit, not Trump or Obama before him .The Brits are doing this to themselves. Trump can’t even bring results in the US without the Courts blocking him so think up a new story line.. Uncle Jeremy has not come out against Brexit or for another referendum because he is a populist and a pragmatist. His best play is to let the Tories hang themselves which is exactly what they are doing then try to ride in and save the day which he cannot. Don’t blame The Donald for that either. If Brexit , England becomes a satellite of the USA by necessity. It will be an incremental shift.

  14. Sally Snyder
    September 7, 2019 at 13:57

    “Pence, a man who stands as living proof that human evolution is not wedded to an ever upwards path…”

    Best Pence descriptor ever!

  15. bevin
    September 7, 2019 at 13:29

    GOOD TO SEE YOU BACK!!!!

    ” a soon-to-be client state.”
    The UK has been a client state of the US since 1946 when the Labour government, following the advice of its enemies The Establishment surrendered to US demands for “Debt” to be repaid.
    The UK had, as the US was well aware, a unique opportunity at that time to co-operate with the Soviet Union in the reconstruction of Europe. It was a course urged by the Left in Britain including GDH Cole who wrote, in An Intelligent Man’s Guide to the Post-War World (1947), to the effect that the real threat to the UK came not from the Soviet Union but from the United States.
    The truth is that the ruling class in the UK long ago established its residence in the mid Atlantic, always an enemy of the British masses, it was and is, and always has been utterly insouciant in the face of the US aggression, economic, cultural and social.
    The EU simply represented another way of achieving the great aim of defeating democracy by imposing capitalist rules over the economy-rules that would prevent an elected government from reversing the long process of privatising all public social property.
    The NHS came into existence not by permission of either the US or its agents in the UK but as a result of popular demand. It will be rebuilt only when the same pressure, in the form of mass socialist politics, is put on the government.
    John Wight, writing from Scotland where the EU has become a cult, bringing together the Scottish section of the ruling class (always the most ruthless section with the British elite) and a gulled mass base vainly hoping for socialism after ‘independence’ in the EU, would do well to look and see what is happening in France and across Europe to the long standing welfare state institutions. They are being ripped up like antique railway lines.
    In the US, however, the support for the sort of NHS that Bevan wanted is becoming irresistible.
    The dilemma that faces the British is not complex: if they want socialism they will have to build it. And it can only be founded on the bones of Capitalist power.

  16. Antonio Costa
    September 7, 2019 at 12:20

    BREXIT, the anti-globalist movement which includes the demise of TPP and other corporate trade deals, was up for grabs politically. UK socialist and Jeremy Corbyn have wanted a break from the strangle hold of neoliberalism – whether American (who has helped shape the EU) and the EU itself. The problem is like so much the issues fell to the ultra “populist” right.

    There was no small number of US voters who voted for Trump when Sanders got pushed under the bus by the DNC. The corporate TPP was as much an issue for Bernie and Greens as for Trump’s populist “movement” of draining the swamp.

    I suspect many Brits voted to leave in the same manner that leftist flung their support, reluctantly, against neoliberalism (aka DNC/Hillary) for Trump.

    In the end the system serves elite masters as billionaires reap their “unjust” rewards.

    • Kevin Bradley
      September 7, 2019 at 22:52

      Voting for Trump may have been a vote against neoliberal globalization but it was also a vote for domestic neoliberalism. Trump represents the right-wing faction of extreme neoliberals (tax cuts for the rich, deregulation, reduced public spending on education and other social services as well as the environment, etc.) Corporate Democrats support economic globalization in all its destructiveness but offer a slightly less extreme version of domestic neoliberal policies. The difference between them is a matter of degree.

    • Antonio Costa
      September 8, 2019 at 09:07

      Agree that neoliberalism has turned inward (US), but it’s more “natural” than Trump created. Surely we can go back to B. Clinton and later Obama to see the trajectory.

      This is a market-based transnational economy/government. It knows no national boundaries. Has Trump’s doubling down on previous administrations’ sanctions and wars done anything more than perpetuate this?

      Capitalism will feed off of wherever it can profit. The dismantling of the relatively weak New Deal began almost immediately after it was enacted. This is an amoral system and will destroy any attempt to change, say to a social democracy or democratic socialism. Those are dead before they can do more than be tolerated. Medicare for All is never going to happen unless the system is somehow replaced, lock stock and barrel.

  17. Jeff Harrison
    September 7, 2019 at 11:11

    I predict that in the event of a BREXIT that Scotland will become an independent state (with hard borders) and Ireland will finally throw off the shackles of English colonialism and the Orangers will be told to go back to Scotland where they came from.

  18. Seamus Padraig
    September 7, 2019 at 07:30

    No, John. What really lurks behind a no-deal Brexit is the EU’s abject refusal to offer Britain any choice other than a hard Brexit or a Brexit in name only. The EU’s refusal to bargain in good faith means that the negotiations are over. But then, maybe Brussels/Berlin are just obeying US orders in this case? ;-)

  19. john wilson
    September 7, 2019 at 04:59

    I voted for Brexit because I couldn’t stand the ever increasing laws coming from the EU that we “ordinary folk” were being subjected to. If the USA takes over my country then I will be screwed again because ‘police state’ America will be a nightmare too far. Looks like we’re doomed whatever we do.

    • Seamus Padraig
      September 7, 2019 at 07:25

      Well, you won’t hear this from the media, but there’s a third possibility: you could just go it alone. After all, most countries on earth are ruled either by the US or by the EU. But they survive somehow, don’t they?

    • Bjorne Jensen
      September 7, 2019 at 18:21

      You shouldn’t have voted for Brexit. Now you know the consequences. Whatever EU law you didn’t like is inconsequential to what will happen with a no deal Brexit. Just wait until the vultures come pouring in to buy the U.K.

  20. Donald Duck
    September 7, 2019 at 04:17

    Errrm the US already controls the UK in both economic and foreign policy, as it does with the rest of Europe. Europe is an occupied zone with NATO membership being the controlling force, and this has been the case since the demise of patriots like De Gaulle and Willy Brandt. It all goes back to Operations Gladio and Mockingbird. Britain is no more than a vassal state and has been so since 1953, or even further back in 1946 when a loan was negotiated with the US when meant the end of British independence.

    What the writer of the above article is suggesting is that Europe is a haven of social-democracy and provides safeguards such as workers rights and so forth. Nothing could be further from the truth. Europe is a neo-liberal juggernaut totally undemocratic and under US control with multiple bases, for the US/NATO to fight wars against Russia. Please consult the demise of the IFN treaty in this respect.

    It is not a question Europe rather than the US, since the US has almost total control of Europe and the EU. Moreover it dominates Europe at all levels: political, economic, ideological, cultural. Even Obama came over and told the British that they should be voting to stay in the EU, or if this didn’t happen they ‘would be at the back of the queue in any trade deals. Wake up? EU membership is a trap.

    • September 7, 2019 at 18:15

      So basically, in or out of the EU, Britain will be nothing but a US vassal. Not too hard to agree with that.

    • Zhu
      September 8, 2019 at 04:22

      You’re gonna be screwed afain Wilson.

  21. Anon
    September 7, 2019 at 03:58

    I would argue that it’s America that’s been drawn into the British empire by the financial oligarchy and it’s agents in Mi5

    • Seamus Padraig
      September 7, 2019 at 07:26

      In truth, speaking of a ‘British’ Empire or an ‘America’ Empire is almost a bit misleading. In reality, what we have is a Anglo-Zionist Empire that has yet to end.

    • Zhu
      September 8, 2019 at 04:28

      “Zionists turned me into a newt” nonsense.

  22. Paul
    September 7, 2019 at 02:18

    Now this column makes more sense and is a better use of your time than punching out a bag posted on twitter.

  23. JOHN CHUCKMAN
    September 7, 2019 at 01:35

    A well-written, insightful piece.

    I especially enjoyed this sharp truth: “Pence, a man who stands as living proof that human evolution is not wedded to an ever upwards path”

    It is hard to see how Britain could get any closer to the US than it’s been in recent years, but completely dependent is what the guiding lights of America really like.

    No shilly-shallying about relationships, just full-spectrum dependence.

  24. TEP
    September 7, 2019 at 00:04

    The UK is already a lapdog to US demands. The empire is anglozionist with the epicentre now in Washington.
    Northern Ireland and Eire will reunite because more of the former now want it.
    The NHS has been prepared for sale, undermined and neglected for decades. Brexit will just hasten it.
    Poverty via austerity has been substantial in the UK for many years, well before Brexit was even put to a vote.
    Project Fear is alive and kicking.

  25. Tom Kath
    September 6, 2019 at 23:52

    John makes the rather one eyed assumption about the virtues of a united Europe, united Kingdom, united States of America, united Global world, and probably united Facebook, united Google etc.

    I have been extremely pleased by Trump’s , possibly inadvertent or unintended, “wrecking ball” measures to break up these overgrown, outdated structures.

    Also, as with the climate frenzy, I note in the Brexit debate a religious zealot like polarised fervour, well beyond any rational basis.

    • JOHN CHUCKMAN
      September 7, 2019 at 01:37

      A rather one-eyed comment, to say the least.

    • September 7, 2019 at 17:54

      “Also, as with the climate frenzy, I note in the Brexit debate a religious zealot like polarised fervour, well beyond any rational basis.”

      Not at all, it doesn’t require too much imagination to understand why the prospect of Trump and his crazies completing the demolition work begun by the sainted Margaret, generates so much passion.

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